Data Protection and Confidentiality Training: 10 Best Practices for Your Team

Data Protection
Best Practices
5 min read
James Mignacca
July 12, 2023
James Mignacca
July 12, 2023
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Did you know that your company’s employees are your biggest cybersecurity risk? In fact, 52 percent of businesses admit that employees are their biggest weakness in IT security.

That’s why it’s critical that those leading their company’s IT and cybersecurity strategies build a data protection and confidentiality training program for employees in an effort to mitigate those risks.

Data protection and confidentiality training is a critical aspect of running a business, and a crucial element of ensuring that your organization’s sensitive information is kept secure and confidential from outside threats.

So, what exactly is the purpose of data protection and confidentiality training? It’s designed to educate employees on the importance of protecting sensitive data, as well as the specific steps that they can take to keep it safe.

Data protection and confidentiality training involves teaching employees what personally identifiable information (PII) is, the different ways in which data can be compromised, and best practices on how to handle data in a way that better protects it.

Armed with this information, employees will have the tools and knowledge they need to keep data safe, and companies will be able to build policies and procedures for employees to follow when handling sensitive data.

This is a critical step when it comes to protecting data and complying with data privacy regulations.

With that in mind, in this blog we take a look at 10 best practices that will help your business to better implement an effective data protection and confidentiality training program that mitigates the risk of a breach.

1) Tailor the training to your specific business

The training should be tailored to the specific needs of your business, taking into account the types of data that you collect and store, as well as the risks associated with handling that data. Think about the type of data you collect, where it is stored, your company’s workflows and weaknesses, and what data privacy regulations you have to comply with - this will help guide your data protection and confidentiality training strategy.

2) Ensure your team has buy-in and knows how to use any data protection tools you have in place

There are a number of tools that businesses use to improve their data protection, such as data discovery, automated data classification, encryption, firewalls, data backup, and disaster recovery. To ensure these are being used to truly protect your data, it’s critical that your organization has buy-in from all team members using them, and that they all know how to use them effectively. 

Read our blog: Data Protection and Privacy Services: What Tools Do You Need?

3) However, also emphasize that cybersecurity is not just down to technology

Technology is critical to a strong cybersecurity strategy, but people are just as important. One click on a malicious link from an employee can bring a company to a crashing halt. It’s important that all employees in an organization know the importance of technology, but also that they understand their own importance and responsibility when it comes to reducing cyber risk. 

4) Don’t forget to train remote employees

As remote and hybrid work models grow in popularity, the attack surface of an organization also grows. When training employees on how to protect company data, it’s critical not to forget those who work remotely. Implementing multiple channels for training, such as in-person training, e-learning, and online resources, can help you to better reach all employees across your business - no matter where they are located.

5) Provide ongoing training

Regular training is important to ensure that employees are aware of the latest threats and best practices for protecting sensitive data. This will help to ensure that existing employees are up-to-date with the latest technologies and methodologies for protecting data.

6) Avoid punishing employees

Cybersecurity is an ever-changing landscape and it’s difficult enough for your cybersecurity team to keep up-to-date, let alone the rest of your company’s employees. Instead of punishing employees who make a mistake, training should be designed to be a safe space for them to learn and improve. The better you encourage your employees to learn about cyber risks, the better results you will yield. 

7) Simulate real-life situations 

Simulating real life threats can help employees gain a better understanding of where cyber risks lie. For example, your business could run phishing simulations that mimic real-life attacks. This will give your employees visibility into what a potential attack would look like in a real-life setting and how they should respond. Depending on their responses, you can then create targeted additional training that addresses vulnerable areas. 

8) Create an environment where employees are responsible and honest

It’s better to know about a potential breach as soon as it happens. The faster you can identify a breach, the quicker you can limit its impact. With this in mind, make sure you are creating an environment where employees feel like they can share if they have been targeted by malicious activity. Your business should look to avoid situations where employees try to cover up mistakes and make a situation even worse. 

9) Provide regular data protection reminders

Sending out regular reminders and updates about data loss prevention policies and procedures will help your organization’s employees to remember their responsibilities and better ensure they are following the best practices you have taught them. 

10) Evaluate the effectiveness of your training program

Regularly evaluate the effectiveness of the training by conducting assessments and surveys to ensure that employees have a good understanding of data protection and confidentiality policies and procedures.

Are you interested in learning more about how you can enhance your data protection strategy? Book a demo of the Cavelo platform today, and learn how we can help simplify your data protection and attack surface management.

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